ED cannot arrest accused once cognizance is taken by the Special Court under PMLA: Supreme Court

Introduction:

In Tarsem Lal v. Directorate of Enforcement Jalandhar Zonal Office,[1] the bench comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan of the Supreme Court (“SC”) held on (i) the Enforcement Directorate’s (“ED”) powers of arrest under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002[2] (“PMLA”), once cognizance is taken of a PMLA complaint under Section 44(1)(b) of the PMLA,[3] and (ii) the applicability of the twin conditions of bail under Section 45 of the PMLA[4] in instances where the accused has furnished a bond in accordance with Section 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973[5] (“CrPC”), for appearance in court following summons. In this significant decision, the SC essentially addresses the extent of the ED’s powers of arrest and applicability of the stringent twin conditions of bail under Section 45 of the PMLA once the Special Court has taken cognizance of a complaint under Section 44 of the PMLA.Continue Reading ED cannot arrest accused once cognizance is taken by the Special Court under PMLA: Supreme Court

Arrests under PMLA: Arrest first, reasons to follow?

INTRODUCTION

Vide order dated March 20, 2024, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India rejected a petition[1] preferred by the Union of India, seeking a review of the judgement passed in Pankaj Bansal v Union of India[2](“Pankaj Bansal”), wherein it was held that it was mandatory for the Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”) to provide written ‘reasons for arrest’ to a person arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”).Continue Reading Arrests under PMLA: Arrest first, reasons to follow?

Bombay High Court upholds NCLT’s decision to release ED attached properties after nod to IBC Resolution Plan

The High Court of Bombay (“Court”) in a recent judgment[1] has upheld the NCLT’s powers to direct the Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”) to release attached properties of a corporate debtor, once a resolution plan in respect of the corporate debtor had been approved. The Court’s decision was based on an interpretation of Section 32A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”).Continue Reading Bombay High Court upholds NCLT’s decision to release ED attached properties after nod to IBC Resolution Plan

Section 120B of IPC cannot be treated as a standalone offence to attract prosecution under PMLA: Supreme Court

INTRODUCTION

In a recent judgement of Pavana Dibbur v. The Directorate of Enforcement[1], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”), will be attributed as a scheduled offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA / Act”), only if the alleged criminal conspiracy is associated with committing of a scheduled offence, i.e. an offence specifically included in the Schedule to the PMLA. The Hon’ble Court held that if the offence of alleged criminal conspiracy is related to any other offence, which does not form a part of the Schedule to the PMLA, then the alleged criminal conspiracy by itself shall not be considered as a “scheduled offence” under the regime of the PMLA and hence, no person can be held liable and be prosecuted for it.[2]Continue Reading Section 120B of IPC cannot be treated as a standalone offence to attract prosecution under PMLA: Supreme Court

Ensuring Transparency: The Imperative of Mandatory Furnishing of Written Grounds of Arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

Background:

In the realm of law enforcement, transparency and accountability are indispensable pillars upholding the democratic values of a society. The Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”), tasked with investigating and prosecuting economic offenses, plays a vital role in maintaining financial integrity. However, concerns surrounding the lack of transparency in some of the arrests made by the ED have been raised.Continue Reading Ensuring Transparency: The Imperative of Mandatory Furnishing of Written Grounds of Arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

Ensuring Transparency: The Imperative of Mandatory Furnishing of Written Grounds of Arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

Background:

In the realm of law enforcement, transparency and accountability are indispensable pillars upholding the democratic values of a society. The Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”), tasked with investigating and prosecuting economic offenses, plays a vital role in maintaining financial integrity. However, concerns surrounding the lack of transparency in some of the arrests made by the ED have been raised.Continue Reading Ensuring Transparency: The Imperative of Mandatory Furnishing of Written Grounds of Arrest by the Enforcement Directorate

Right to Be Informed: Communicate Written Grounds of Arrest , SC Tells ED

The Supreme Court of India has recently taken important strides towards protecting personal liberty and curbing indiscriminate exercise of power by the Directorate of Enforcement (“ED”). In a fresh judgment in Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India[1], the Supreme Court has criticised disparate procedures being used by various officers of the ED across the country while arresting a person accused of committing an offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (“PMLA”), mandating that the provision of written grounds of arrest be provided to the arrested person as a matter of course and without exception.Continue Reading Right to Be Informed: Communicate Written Grounds of Arrest, SC Tells ED

PMLA SECOND AMENDMENT RULES, 2023: PLUGGING THE LOOPHOLE

The Ministry of Finance issued a notification on September 04, 2023, to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 (“Rules”), to enhance clarity and stringency of money laundering prevention efforts. The amendment seeks to ensure stricter compliance by reporting authorities to keep a check on money laundering and terror financing.Continue Reading PMLA Second Amendment Rules, 2023: Plugging The Loophole